Gov. Pat McCrory said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata "did an outstanding job" overseeing his department's response to the Tuesday morning snowstorm - even though Tata was in Chicago at the time, taking the day off.
Tata was promoting his military action novel, "Foreign and Domestic," which was published Tuesday. Rob Schofield, a left-leaning political activist, criticized the governor for letting Tata leave town to pursue his side career as a fiction writer. Asked about it Wednesday during a winter-weather news briefing, McCrory defended Tata.
"Secretary Tata yesterday, during a planned day off, was extremely engaged in conference phone calls from 4 o'clock in the morning until late in the evening," McCrory said. Tata was standing at the governor's side, having updated reporters on Department of Transportation plans for a second storm moving into the state Wednesday night
"I have many employees throughout state government who have planned days off but go ahead and do their jobs," McCrory said. "We all have to adapt to changing conditions, and he and his team did just that."